Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Daily infections in the Czech Republic are close to record levels

PRAGUE (AP). The authorities said on Wednesday that the number of coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic has risen significantly and is at levels close to record levels seen during previous waves.

The health ministry said the daily number of new cases reached 14,539 on Tuesday, about 4,500 more than a week ago and the highest number since March 12.

The all-time high of 17,776 was recorded on January 7th.

The country’s infection rate has risen to 558 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, more than double that recorded in neighboring Germany.

“The situation is bad,” Prime Minister Andrei Babish said on Wednesday. “We are calling on everyone to get vaccinated again.”

Almost 6.2 million people are fully vaccinated in a country of 10.7 million. This is below the average among the countries of the European Union.

The sharp increase in the number of new cases was accompanied by an increase in the number of patients requiring hospitalization. A total of 3,295 COVID-19 patients were treated in hospitals on Tuesday. This is almost double the number since the beginning of November.

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The Czech Republic was one of the 27 European Union countries hardest hit by the pandemic. The country has recorded nearly 1.84 million confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 31,229 deaths, 368 of which were reported in November.

The authorities said that all medical personnel in hospitals, nursing homes and retirees will need to be tested on a weekly basis if they are not vaccinated. Health Minister Adam Vojtech said that free vaccinations will be offered to all foreigners legally residing in the country.

Babis said his cabinet would approve other measures on Friday, but did not provide details. However, he ruled out strict isolation.

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Follow all AP stories about the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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